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Database as a Service offerings becoming popular?

by Paul Andlinger, 1 October 2014
Tags: DBaaS

Nowadays, everything seems to be delivered out of the cloud. We analysed whether that holds true for database systems.

First of all there are a couple of options how the cloud can be used in context of database systems:

  • Extending storage: the DBMS still runs on the own server, but storage capacities are mounted from the cloud.
  • Hosted DBMS: the DBMS is hosted on a cloud platform, while the user is still responsible for its maintenance. The platform exposes the DBMS-specific API, so that an application connects to the remote DBMS on the platform and configuration and provisioning tasks are performed via a web console.
    For example, most of the leading database vendors provide specific configurations of their systems on the Amazon Web Service Marketplace for installation on Amazon EC2.
  • Database as a Service (DBaaS): some cloud platforms offer web services to store, query and retrieve data. The supported data models vary between the platforms but include relational as well as NoSQL types.
    The underlying database technology is completely transparent to the user. Some platforms may utilize a standard DBMS, others support the service with proprietary applications. The only relevant aspect for the user is the definition of the API and - of course - the capability of the platform.

Database as a Service offerings:

From a DB-Engines point of view, we perceive the DBaaS offerings as autonomous systems and therefore include them in our popularity ranking. The October ranking contains the following database services:

DBaaS Overall Rank Popularity Score
Microsoft Azure SQL Database 28 15.57
DynamoDB 32 10.58
Google BigQuery 50 3.09
SimpleDB 53 2.91
Redshift 55 2.82
Cloudant 60 2.34
CloudSearch 84 1.06
Microsoft Azure DocumentDB 110 0.65
Google Cloud Datastore 117 0.52

It is no surprise that the overall popularity score of DBaaS is far behind their 'physical' counterparts. However, a look at the popularity scores of the previous quarters reveals a slight but continuous trend towards the usage of DBaaS:

DBaaS: % of overall popularity score
Oct 2014 0.66%
Jul 2014 0.60%
Apr 2014 0.51%
Jan 2014 0.24%
Oct 2013 0.19%
Jul 2013 0.18%
Apr 2013 0.13%
Jan 2013 0.10%

We will have an eye on whether that trend continues in the future.

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